|But this one was more considered than my original fortuitously mistaken choice of the original seed pattern for what has become The Wild.
I let The Wild run throughout my break at my other favourite wild place and found it had crept past iteration 220,000 in my absence, so my next task is to process the second of two more sets of pictures to extend the sequence shown in my 30 Nov post.
But there was way too much else of interest that I could not resist more fully dissecting, documenting and presenting one more highlight.
When the Golly gang needed a nomination for one Generations 345/3/6 aka LivingOnTheEdge pattern for the official 2.0 release, I settled on Delta, the second (class of) true puffer discovered in The Wild. (Track and trail layers are also technically puffers but I'm not counting them.)
The first Delta engine formed at iteration 191,559 without the free space to show its complex potential which I soon saw by observing it run naked for quite a while. One of my hopes in pursuing the slow grind beyond 200,000 is that another Delta might form in finite time on an outer face where it would have space to mature.
That prayer to the strange gods of The Wild was almost answered by a new Delta engine forming at iteration 211,319 at the end of an exposed promontory on the side of Honalee facing Sworder. However in gen 211,563 it copped as asym ship in the neck which changed the engine to a variation which leaves a stable period 112/56 (iterations/cells) trail rather than the balance of chaotic and ordered growth seen from a naked Delta. I'd already seen that alternate form outside The Wild so was anything but surprised although the detailed history, like everything else in The Wild, was more contingent than I could have imagined.
Before I got that far, I had also noticed a third Delta engine formed at the back of a narrow bay right next to the second at iteration 220,477, so my most urgent task became determining its near and medium term fate by running its light cone out to iteration 225,000. Somehow it escaped unscathed from that ever narrowing bay just in time though that wasn't the place for its trail to settle. It came out oriented so that its p.112/56 and p.224/112 rakes made consistent adjustment to Delta 2's trail, after free paths with a maximum of seven and three ships respectively. But we will have to wait for the full run to see whether Delta 3 can produce the p.448/224 rakes which fan out on both sides of the ever widening and still creepingly chaotic trail of a naked Delta giving it its distinctive shape.
But back to the difference that makes the difference between those two very different final trail forms. In cases where I have seen the rakeless trail, the triggering event was very close to the engine. But when I finally laid out the two configurations side by side, the information that "I am rakeless" is transmitted forward by a common asym ship that is only in the clear for two iterations every 112, a whole 357 iterations behind the engine. (In the linked 2Mb 56 second animated GIF I've added an asym ship right at the bottom which tracks the position where the signalling asym blinks in and out.)
At this point it could be tempting to do some controlled experiments with a view to providing a strong data set on attractor basins, if only this was the only new thing found in The Wild. In one sense it has jumped the queue on the extraordinary and beautiful MargLyn which played out largely before Delta 2 got started, but that awaits more complex animation which is at the top of my TODO list. And it has snuck ahead of an interesting series of discoveries, large and small, concerning the often spectacular interaction of tagalongs and wreckage on deteriorating track, with a dozen or more variations on the theme from the difficult birth of Alpha. Who could have imagined the p.23 capture of a tagalong by a damaged track end? That is the kind of thing you find in The Wild just by looking.